‘Wellness Wednesdays’ for NYC vets and seniors faces uncertain future

Monica Makes It Happen

BROOKLYN — A weekly food distribution initiative in Brooklyn that helps veterans and seniors, is facing an uncertain future because it’s running out of funding.

It’s called “Wellness Wednesdays.”

New York City Councilmember Robert Cornegy has teamed up with the Met Council and the Campaign Against Hunger to feed 500 every week.

They have given out more than 10,000 boxes of food since last year, but Cornegy said city funding has run out.

“We need to spend money where it is needed the most, in our housing developments. These hardworking families don’t need a handout, they want opportunity,” said Cornegy.

David Greenfield, the the Met Council’s chief executive officer, said Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to step up now and allocate even more emergency funding to save programs Wellness Wednesdays and programs like it.

“They tell us we will get you money in the next budget, but that doesn’t help us. We are in January, in the middle of a pandemic. People need food,” said Greenfield.

The Campaign Against Hunger plans to redouble efforts for the month of February, but after that, the future of this weekly food distribution service is uncertain.

“The city has stepped up in every way possible to feed New Yorkers and the Grab & Go program and home delivery program still both going strong, providing almost 200 million free meals to date,” a spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio told PIX11 News in a statement. “Since December, we have distributed nearly 6 million pounds of fresh, high quality produce to pantries across the city. Next month, we will start distributing 18 million pounds of shelf stable product as well. This is in addition to the food we move through the cities Emergency food Assistance Program. We continue to advocate for federal support as we navigate the fiscal challenges due to COVID-19.”

The next distributions for “Wellness Wednesdays” are:

  • Feb. 3, 11 a.m. at Maria Lawton Neighborhood Center, 400 Hart Street
  • Feb. 10, 11 a.m. at Quincy Senior Residence, 625 Quincy Street
  • Feb. 17, 11 a.m. at Marcy Houses, 604 Park Avenue
  • Feb. 24, 11 a.m. at 303 Vernon Avenue

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